“Raw Materials” Film Makes History, First Jamaican Film to Qualify for Oscar Nomination

“Raw Materials,” a Jamaican film that has thus far won ten international film competitions, has qualified for a 2024 Academy Award Oscar nomination. The film was directed by Sosiessia Nixon, who expressed her surprise at the qualification by saying that the short film was made “to test the waters.” She thanked audiences for appreciating the film and said she was amazed at how well the film has been received on the global stage.

The team behind the film was overseas when they heard that “Raw Materials” had qualified for an Academy Award. Director Nixon announced the qualification on Instagram, and Jamaica’s Film Commission called it a historic achievement.

Raw Materials Film Makes History First Jamaican Film to Qualify for Oscar Nomination - Jamaican Sosiessia Nixon
Sosiessia Nixon

Nixon said the cast of the short film is “in shock.” She went on to say that the film established a precedent as not many films have the opportunity to be seen on a big screen. After their efforts to make the film, the chance to win an Oscar is a big plus for the film’s cast and crew. Now that the film has been recognized at the Academy-Award level, it will facilitate the situation for other productions and help to develop and promote Jamaica’s local film industry. Nixon added that all it takes is something that “comes naturally to most Jamaicans.

“Raw Materials” is a short 33-minute film made in 2022 that stars John Chambers, Seikai Smart-Macaulay, and Shak-Quera South. It is a coming-of-age story that follows Malik, a 16-year-old fashion prodigy and his struggles to overcome abuse and negativity to embrace his identity and talent in spite of being automatically labeled as gay by his homophobic community. The theme of the film is love and self-acceptance.

Raw Materials Film Makes History First Jamaican Film to Qualify for Oscar Nomination - Jamaican Sosiessia Nixon
Sosiessia Nixon and Danny Glover

Jamaican Sosiessia Nixon is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and film producer who currently leads film and television at iKon Media ad Films and is the driving force behind many music videos, serving as a treatment writer on products for Shaggy, Buju Banton, Sean Paul, Spice, Conkarah, and Dre Island.

“Raw Materials” was the winner of the Short Film Competition at the 2023 International Film Festival, where it had its New York City premiere. The festival is organized by a nonprofit established in 2011 in New York City by filmmakers and film lovers who focus on supporting women and underrepresented filmmakers to encourage diversity, promote emerging filmmakers in all genres around the world, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists to show their work.